New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Wednesday a plea filed by Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) mayoral candidate Shelly Oberoi and others seeking early holding of mayoral election for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
The party moved the apex court on Tuesday, a day after the MCD House failed to elect a mayor for the third time following a ruckus as the AAP objected to the presiding officer saying that the aldermen nominated by the Lieutenant Governor will vote in the election.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala took note of the submissions of senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for AAP, who alleged that it was a ”murder of democracy ” and sought an urgent hearing of the plea.
“This is brazen. This is the MCD (Mayor polls) matter. Please hear it on the merits. They have said that let the nominated members vote despite Article 243R of the Indian Constitution,” Singhvi said.
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Article 243R, which deals with the issue of the composition of municipalities, reads: “Save as provided in clause ( 2 ), all the seats in a Municipality shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from the territorial constituencies in the Municipal area and for this purpose each Municipal area shall be divided into territorial constituencies to be known as wards.” Referring to the provision, Singhvi said, “They say that all the three- Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Stating Committee will have to bear direct bar in regulation …They then say two members of this party ((AAP) be excluded because a sessions court convicted them for three months. A temporary protem person enabling this…It is a murder of democracy.” “We will list it tomorrow,” the CJI said.
Both the BJP and AAP have accused each other of preventing the mayoral polls, with the bone of contention being the appointment of aldermen and their voting right in the House.
The AAP, which has a majority with 134 out of 250 elected members, has alleged that the BJP was trying to steal its mandate by giving voting rights to the nominated members.
Oberoi had moved the top court earlier as well seeking directions to ensure mayoral election in Delhi in a time-bound manner, but the plea was withdrawn in view of the election being scheduled for February 6.
The top court had on February 3 observed that the major grievance of the petitioner was that mayoral election was not held but now the election had been notified and granted her liberty to come back in case of any grievances.
The mayoral election in the national capital was stalled last month for the second time as the MCD House was adjourned indefinitely by the lieutenant governor-appointed presiding officer, following a ruckus created by some councillors.
The first meeting of the newly-elected MCD House was also adjourned on January 6 amid clashes between AAP and BJP members.